ART CHAT #23 – Te Anau & Milford Sound

January 31, 2024
Travel Sketchbook



23 May 2023

Today we arrived early at Te Anau, checked into our accommodation and then off we went for a day to Milford Sound. You can read more about this day here.

Meanwhile here are some sketches from my travel sketchbook that I did to capture the day.

I didn’t have the best luck with this session. My concentration wasn’t quite there! Regular readers would know that life has been hectic for myself and my family lately. This is the last bit of art I have done for months and I wasn’t in the right headspace. Generally, I like to feel reasonably relaxed and able to go into ‘the zone’. I wasn’t in that kind of headspace when I did this. However, it’s ok – just a few silly errors that show my concentration wasn’t there.

  1. I used special ‘painters edge’ masking tape around the edges that usually peels off easily but with this sketchbook, particularly on the second page, it tore the paper when I peeled it off … which you will see! Ugh! I wanted to really love this sketchbook (it wasn’t cheap) but to be honest, though I love the square shape, I would not buy it again. The surface of the paper is very fragile and too smooth for my liking.
  2. I made an error or two with the text that I wrote and had to paint over and write it again.
  3. The vegemite sketch should be for breakfast the next day on 24 May, before we headed off to Doubtful Sound.
  4. I also forgot to erase the pencil lines before photographing!

This is real folks! After listing all the mistakes I made, I have to say though that I’m relatively happy with the sketches themselves!

Travel Sketchbook

Travel Sketchbook

Travel Sketchbook

This will probably be the last Art Chat for a while. At least it will be until I have found time to hold a paint brush in my hands again and create something, and that won’t be until at least March. I’m determined to get the NZ Travel Sketchbook finished! Till next time …

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 January 31, 2024 at 5:22 am

    Hi Min, you are way too hard on yourself. Your artwork is amazing and it is a shame you have to take a break from it at the moment. I know you will finish your NZ book and think it is a wonderful way to capture your travels. Take care and hope all is okay in your world. Thanks for hosting #WWWhimsy considering all you have going on at the moment. Have a lovely day xx

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 9:23 am

      Hi Sue, thank you! I’m not meaning to be hard on myself – just pointing out the lack of concentration that can cause silly mistakes. I’m happy enough with the sketches themselves! I’ll eventually finish the NZ Travel Sketchbook. It’s going to take longer than first anticipated though! So far I’m managing ok with stil hosting #WWWhimsy – it’s a nice distraction! Hope you have a lovely day too! xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes January 31, 2024 at 7:09 am

    I second Sue…your artwork is amazing. I do appreciate you being real and vulnerable with us about your “errors.” I’m sure it helps other artists feel more at home with their own challenges. I’ve probably said this before, Min, but I love the idea of sketching your travels. Thanks for sharing them with us. And thank you for the #WWWhimsy linkup. I hope you are having a good week.

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 9:25 am

      Thank you Christie! I think it’s important to point out mistakes and errors to show that no artist (famous or not) is immune to them or perfect and I wanted to show that consequences of my current lack of concentration and ability to get ‘into the zone’. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get back at it and finish off the travel sketchbook! Have a great week! xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris January 31, 2024 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for your honesty Min, although I didn’t notice any of the things you mentioned. It’s a wonderful way of recording your trip and such a personal take on the sights you saw. Your artwork is really lovely and U do hope things settle down for you. It’s a hard time you’re going through, so take care and thanks for having us over for the linkup 🙂

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 9:28 am

      Thanks Debbie – as I just said in my reply to Christie’s comment, I like to be honest and upfront about my art and how I’m feeling about it. I’m quite happy with the sketches themselves but I made silly mistakes because my concentration and ability to get ‘in the zone’ just isn’t there at the moment with everything I have going on. Hope you have a wonderful week! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 31, 2024 at 8:40 am

    Gosh Min, please take off those perfectionist glasses because NO-ONE else sees this. I would strongly urge you to NOT leave picking up a pencil and putting it on paper just to move it around. A very private session of allowing your hand and mind to come closer to being ‘you’ enjoying something creative.

    I find that the very act of using a brush with paint loaded and wiping it across a page is in itself both mindful and relaxing. I hope you do!

    Take care,

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 9:36 am

      Hi Denyse, I know I can be a perfectionist but I personally don’t think I’m being perfectionistic here. I’m happy with the sketches. I just pointed out the other silly little errors I made because my concentration and ability to truly get ‘into the zone’ isn’t there right now. I agree that art and creativity of any kind is great for stress relief etc. Generally art is a great escape for me from daily stressors and the mundane chores of life but things are a little more hectic than usual right now. I have very little spare time and the spare time that I do have I don’t want to have to use my mind at all. I generally choose to ‘veg out’ in front of Netflix or something because my brain needs a break from having to think, plan, make decisions etc etc. We’re all different. Thank you for caring! I appreciate it. Hope you’re having a wonderful week! xo

      • Reply Denyse Whelan February 1, 2024 at 2:40 pm

        I agree 100% with the brain break you speak of. Take care, Denyse.

        • Reply Min February 5, 2024 at 6:58 am

          Glad you understand. Thanks Denyse! xo

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 31, 2024 at 11:25 am

    Hi Min I know nothing about the technicalities of art but it seems to make they you could be being a bit hard on yourself. To me, your art looks amazing and I really enjoyed seeing it

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Jen, it’s ok – I wasn’t being hard on myself over the sketches, just the other silly mistakes I made because my concentration isn’t there at the moment. Thank you for your kind comments on my art! xo

  • Reply sherry January 31, 2024 at 11:29 am

    I love your artworks Min. Just don’t tell us about the mistakes ‘cos we don’t even see them without you telling us :=) Hope you have a good February. where the heck did january go???

    • Reply Min January 31, 2024 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Sherry, thanks so much. I’m so glad you like my art! I don’t think I’ll point out mistakes in future cos it seems that most don’t like it when I do! I was just trying to show how concentration can be affected when life is chaotic etc. I wasn’t criticising my actual sketches. I won’t be so open in that way again! lol xo

  • Reply Cathy January 31, 2024 at 7:08 pm

    I admire your talent for recording the little daily happenings on holidays – there’s a lovely soft look to them. Thank you for sharing.
    And I think it’s just human nature to remark on the ‘trials’ of trying to get it ‘just right’. I often do the same on some of my knitting posts, and as you say it often happens when there’s too much going on else where.

    Here’s hoping next time there’s a paintbrush in your hand there won’t be so much ‘background noise’ interfering with the pleasure
    Take care

    • Reply Min February 5, 2024 at 6:55 am

      Thanks so much Cathy! I’m so pleased you understood the reason I pointed out the little errors I made due to lack of concentration because of my crazy life right now! I’m hoping life will be much less frantic next time I’m doing some art. You take care too! xo

  • Reply Natasha Mairs January 31, 2024 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you so much for hosting again. I am loving the art work, especially the food.

    • Reply Min February 5, 2024 at 6:56 am

      Thanks Natasha and you’re welcome! xo

  • Reply Joanne February 1, 2024 at 6:03 am

    Your art journal is beautiful! What a fabulous way to remember your travels.

    • Reply Min February 5, 2024 at 6:56 am

      Thanks Joanne – it IS a lovely idea but gee whiz it’s taking me a while to complete it. I will eventually though! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 1, 2024 at 6:22 am

    You’re art work is really stunning. I feel you need to do something with these books. I’m not sure if you put in things too personal to sell but they’d make a great travel journal if you put the entries as adornments to blank journal pages or even published whole as an alternate travel guide….they’re so lovely.

    • Reply Min February 5, 2024 at 6:57 am

      You’re so kind – thank you Lydia. Someone else said something similar to me too. Once my life settles down I would like to give some thought to the future of my art. There’s much I’d like to do! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan February 5, 2024 at 11:12 am

    Congratulations on finishing this lovely, creative undertaking. You have a beautiful memento of your trip. I can be very hard on the end results of my artistic activities. I finished a scrapbook page today and one of my embellishments is slightly crooked and that’s all I see right now. But I hope in the days to come, when I look at the page, I will concentrate on the photos of the good time I had on that day with my sister, her husband and PC. And will no longer notice the crooked little duck!!

    When my life is crazy, I can do little more than run around putting out fires – or throwing water on them – and then try to regroup before the next inferno strikes. Allow yourself some grace, just try to get through this tumultuous time, and when LIFE slows down, please return to your art. For yourself and all of us who enjoy it so much.

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks Leslie – so many more pages to do yet but I’ll get there eventually. We always notice the faults in our creativities more than the onlooker – I think that’s pretty normal! With my life as turbulent and full on as it is right now, I just can’t relax to do any art. I have very little free time and during that very little free time I just need quiet and to chill out and my brain to have a rest. xo

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